Problematizing the Digital Literacy Paradox in the Context of Older Adults’ ICT Use: Aging, Media Discourse, and Self-Determination

Kathleen Schreurs, Anabel Quan-Haase, Kim Martin

Abstract


Current media discourse suggests that seniors lag behind in terms of engagement with digital technology. Through a survey and interviews with seniors we investigate how this population views their own digital skills, barriers to digital literacy, and who supports them in gaining literacy. Seniors recognize their age as a factor in the adoption of technology and they note differences between how they and younger generations use technology. Lack of skills and sometimes-limited support make it difficult for seniors to gain experience and comfort with technology. However, support systems such as family and peers can help mediate senior’s experiences with technology. The Seniors Digital Literacy Paradox is proposed as a model for understanding the needs of seniors in gaining digital literacy.


Keywords


Seniors; older adults; digital literacy; Internet Communication Technology;

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22230/cjc.2017v42n2a3130

License URL: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.5/ca/
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We wish to acknowledge the financial support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council for their financial support through theAid to Scholarly Journals Program.

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